“We have now grown to where we’re one of the largest single operations of swimwear in the US. Sales and profits have increased to levels which we would have never dreamed of.”
Nothing comes close to Gone Bananas Beachwear in San Diego where Mission Beach locals come to shop for swimsuits. Their merchandise selection includes more than 10,000 suits and boasts San Diego’s largest selection of mix and match bikinis and swimwear. Gone Bananas has been able to provide one of the largest selections of swimwear in the country.
We Spoke with Tom O’Hara, owner of Gone Bananas Beachwear about his experience with One Step Retail Solutions.
What is so unique about Gone Bananas?
Tom: Well, the store is a category killer. We specialize in Bikinis, mix and match. Juniors have 15,000 pieces of stock on hand, a person can get the size they want and I have a large selection of big tops. I don’t carry one-pieces. I have junior swimwear and a ton of it. We have even made custom style orders to Luli Fama to create a ruched-back bottom bikini, creating a whole new line to sell. The sales on that one have been over 500 in the last 5 months!
How long have you been in business and when did One Step come into the picture?
Tom: I have been in business for over 25 years and have been using One Step for the last ten of those years. Before we had Retail Pro we were using pencil and graph paper to track sales of the top sellers. We thought we knew what was selling but didn’t really know and didn’t track all brands. We only could track the top sellers but not the runner-ups and ended up losing sight of those.
What were the first major changes you noticed after switching to Retail Pro?
Tom: We could immediately start using it for sales reports to see what styles and vendors were selling most, as well as the ones which were selling least. This lessened markdowns and improved turnover. Season to season it’s much easier to manage inventory, which has saved us lots of money.
What was One Step’s installation and training like?
Tom: Easier than I thought it would be. It’s pretty effortless and easy to use. Our staff has learned it quickly and like it.
How have you financially benefited from using Retail Pro?
Tom: We have now grown to where we’re one of the largest single operations of swimwear in the US. Sales and profits have increased to levels which we would have never dreamed of. We’re also online now and have synched our online store to our inventory. This feature of Retail Pro makes the online sales aspect of our store much easier. We’ll be seeing more sales through the Internet as well.
What is the most useful feature of your POS system?
Tom: Scanning and using manufacturer’s barcodes. When you can use their barcodes and tags and not have to put your own on, the merchandise gets out on the floor faster, which saves us a lot of time. I also like using it for various reports. It gives us better control on inventory and speeds up reorders.
How are you dealing with the current economic downturn?
Tom: By keeping a lean and mean inventory and keeping very close track of what is and what is not selling. This will keep us ahead of competitors who may not be able to do this as accurately.
Recently within the last 12 to 18 months we’ve learned to run on an entirely different level using more features of Retail Pro. We keep the right stuff in stock when it’s needed. Retail Pro helps us keep track of this.
What are your future plans for Gone Bananas?
Tom: My kind of operation doesn’t work everywhere. Whatever… we want no limitations. We want to remain the best ‘one store’ there is… not to get greedy. Each year sales and profits are up and we have just scratched the surface now that we’re online too.